Review of “A Background Poorly Written” by William Mangieri

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay


Hmmm…. Well, the narrator, who isn’t always sure he (?) speaks the words he hears, seems to be waking from a deep sleep. Or maybe’s coming into being. He’s with Debbie. He seems to know Debbie. There’s a scratching from outside, but neither he nor Debbie knows what it is.


This reads like a writer’s exercise. The author’s notes confirm that that is precisely what it is. It at least has a beginning, middle, and an end, but it’s written for writers, not readers.

This is something, I think, that would be passed around among writers at a coffee shop or maybe a workshop. There is a definite, “Yeah, I get it” moment, but for the average reader, who is not a writer, it may not be as cute.

As cute as I found the story, I cannot recommend it.


According to his blurb, author William Mangieri is a blogger, karaoke junkie, former theater student, and recovered wargamer, who spends a lot of time wondering “what if….” He writes from Texas, where he lives with his wife and the ghost of a nine-pound westie as he tries to find ways to flesh out his own existence. His fiction–including his first novel Swordsmaster–can be found on Smashwords, Amazon, and other online sellers. William Mangieri’s Writing Page is at

The story can be read here.

Title: “A Background Poorly Written”
Author: William Mangieri
First published: Daily Science Fiction, June 15, 2020

Published by 9siduri

I have written book and movie reviews for the late and lamented sites Epinions and Examiner. I have book of reviews of speculative fiction from before 1900, and short works in publications such Mobius, Protea Poetry Journal, and, most recently, Wisconsin Review and Drunken Pen Writing. I'm busily working away on a book of reviews pulp science fiction stories from the 1930s-1960s. It's a lot of fun. I am the author of the short story "Always Coming Home," a chapbook of poetry titled "Sotto Voce," and a collection of reviews of pre-1900 speculative fiction, "By Firelight."

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